Human Rights links:
About the law
The Complaint Process
Anyone can file a human rights complaint with the Human Rights Commission under B.C.'s Human Rights Code. You don't have to experience the discrimination yourself. Just being a witness or knowing about an incident is enough.
You must launch your complaint within one year of the most recent incident.
Once a complaint has been filed, it may be dismissed, or disposed of without an investigation. Or, if this isn't possible, a human rights officer will investigate the complaint and submit a report.
Then, all or part of the complaint will be dismissed or all or part of it will be referred to the Human Rights Tribunal for a hearing. A complaint can be dismissed any time after it has been filed.
The commissioner of investigation and mediation, a human rights officer or any person appointed, engaged or retained may assist the parties to a complaint, through mediation and other means, to achieve a settlement.
Top of Page
The Human Rights Tribunal
The Human Rights Tribunal is an independent, quasi-judicial provincial body that adjudicates and mediates human rights complaints under the British Columbia Human Rights Code.
The Tribunal consists of a Chair, supported by full-time and part-time appointed members, a member/registrar, legal counsel, and support staff, headquartered in Vancouver. It conducts public hearings on complaints that have been referred to it by the British Columbia Human Rights Commission.
At a Tribunal hearing, the parties have an opportunity to present evidence to support their case. Hearings are open to the general public. The Tribunal member or panel issues a decision, with reasons.
Once the Commission refers a case to the Tribunal, The Code requires that the Tribunal hold a hearing unless the complaint settles or is withdrawn by the complainant. The Tribunal encourages parties to reach mutually agreeable settlements and may assign a mediator to assist them in formally resolving complaints prior to a hearing.
The Human Rights Tribunal is completely independent of the Human Rights Commission. The Commission receives and investigates complaints and, in some cases, refers a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal, which then conducts a hearing.
The Tribunal only adjudicates complaints that have been referred to it by the Commission after an investigation. The Tribunal does not have the jurisdiction to refuse to hear a complaint referred to it by the Commission. The Tribunal does not receive complaints from the generally public, nor does it investigate them.
Top of Page
More questions? Phone us at (604) HELP-LAW.
Home | About Us | E-mail Us | Site Map | Areas of Law | What's New
Top of Page
Legal disclaimer: The information provided on Lawyers-BC.Com is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered. Your access to and use of this Web site is subject to additional terms and conditions.
This page last updated: October 14, 1999
© copyright 1999 Lawyers-BC.Com Services Ltd.